Texas Rangers: How did Willie Calhoun regain his offensive mentality after initiating a minor season?



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ARLINGTON – In March, when the Rangers sent Willie Calhoun back among the miners for no other reason than they had not found a way to put him on the list, they pleaded: "Do not let this demotion set you up."

No, in terms of decisive moments, last week would be a much better choice.

Sunday, in his 10th inning, the Pinch-Hit single equalized the game, the Rangers would take it 5-4 a bit later over St. Louis on Nomar Mazara's sacrifice flight. It was his fifth game in major this season. He has hit without a hitch in all five games and the Rangers have won four. He unleashed an offensive revival for a team that, a week ago at that time, seemed to be heading back to the hinterland for the rest of the year.

"It's hard to express how proud I am of him," said director Chris Woodward. "It's quite special to see a child who was obviously not happy, but who basically accepted what was going on and who said," I'm going to be better because of the circumstances in which I'm going to be am found. That did not affect him. He did everything he needed. It's just a testimony that he embraced our conversations. Hopefully, he knows that no matter what happens, he has done everything to belong to society. I can not make any promise to a player, but it has had an impact in every game we played. "

Yeah, at some point, the Rangers will have to juggle their list when Elvis Andrus comes back from the casualty list. They will get there when they get there. But it's in at least six days. Meanwhile, Calhoun has many opportunities to strengthen a personal file already filled with evidence of belonging, regardless of the situation.

For your consideration:

– He dominated in his first game and in each of his first two games.

– He went in the opposite direction for a decisive single in his second game in his second game, en route to four consecutive wins.

– He has been hit unhindered in all five games since being called, including his torrid run at Triple-A Nashville, which now spans 20 games. He is 10 for 21 (.476) in the majors.

– And perhaps more significantly, given his decisive success Sunday ahead of Jordan Hicks, that of the fast ball 150 km / h, Calhoun is 5 for 10 with two shots. He was not afraid in the bottom of the accounts. He faces these bats like a veteran.

RELATED: "I've never felt that before …" Willie Calhoun came back stronger at the majors, mentally and physically

Part of that, he said, was a desire to smother the game with two strikes to give him a little more control. He also said Sunday that he was choking more often, no matter how many.

"He hits rockets even with two strikes," Woodward said. "He is on all terrains. He puts pressure on baseball every time he balks. "

Calhoun said, "I just did what I did in Nashville, try not to overdo it. I was ready when [Woodward] wanted me. I have tried not to think too much about the future. I just watched each throw and tried to damage everyone. "

On Sunday, after the Cardinals took a lead in the 10th inning, Rougned Odor placed a 100 km / h Hicks throw in the center right to start the bottom of the inning. Danny Santana, who dominated as a nail cleaver in the eighth, despite a bruised and swollen ankle, made his way. Woodward went to Calhoun to try to win Jeff Mathis and his .160 batting average.

Calhoun took 102 fast balls for one ball, then missed another two 102 mph shots. He then took a slider that hit him for a ball. When Hicks, now at the top of his throwing career, came back with another slider, Calhoun decided to tie the match and put Santana in third place. He scored two batters later during the Mazara sacrifice robbery.

"Everything he's doing right now is impressive," Mazara said of Calhoun. "All the work he has done in winter and spring is paying off. It helps us win now. "

And that – THAT – looks like how a player would like to be defined.

Twitter: @EvanPGrant

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